Churchill Downs Notes From The Weekend

Gun Runner
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner. (Coady Photography, Churchill Downs)

Downs After Dark returns this Saturday at Churchill Downs with nighttime racing program for Stephen Foster Handicap night. The night features 11 races headlined by the 36th running of $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap Presented by GE Appliances (Grade I) – one the nation’s premier events for older horses. The 1 1/8-mile Foster is the richest of five graded stakes races on an evening that will feature total purses in excess of $1.3 million, making it the most lucrative racing day for horsemen at Churchill Downs outside of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks programs.

The headliner for the Stephen Foster is expected to be Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner. Gun Runner won last fall’s Clark Handicap (Grade I) and was runner-up to top-ranked Arrogate in March’s Dubai World Cup (GI). Overall, the Kentucky-bred son of Candy Ride (ARG) has a 14-7-3-2 record with $4,337,800 in earnings.

Head to Churchill Downs for complete Barn Notes on this upcoming weekend’s races.

 

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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